May 30, 2023

The 10 BIGGEST TRAVEL MISTAKES Not to Make | Tips for Traveling Abroad

Published May 15, 2023, 6:20 p.m. by Monica Louis

1. Not doing your research before you go.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning your retirement travel. You need to know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how to get there. Otherwise, you could end up in a place you don’t like or getting lost and wasting time and money.

2. Not having a budget.

Retirement travel can be expensive, so you need to make sure you have a budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you could end up spending more money than you have and getting into debt.

3. Not packing properly.

Packing is essential for any trip, but it’s especially important for retirement travel. You need to make sure you pack all the essentials, such as your medications, and that you pack for the weather and activities you’ll be doing.

4. Not being prepared for jet lag.

If you’re traveling to a different time zone, you need to be prepared for jet lag. This can include taking a nap before your flight and drinking plenty of water during your trip.

5. Not having insurance.

Make sure you have travel insurance before you go on your trip. This will help you if you get sick or injured while you’re away from home.

6. Not being aware of your surroundings.

When you’re traveling, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. This includes being aware of your surroundings when you’re walking around and when you’re in your hotel room.

7. Not being careful with your belongings.

You need to be careful with your belongings when you’re traveling, especially if you’re carrying valuables with you. Make sure you keep your belongings close to you and don’t leave them unattended in public places.

8. Not being cautious with your money.

When you’re traveling, you need to be careful with your money. This includes not carrying all of your money with you and not flashing your cash in public.

9. Not being respectful of other cultures.

When you’re traveling to a different country, it’s important to be respectful of their culture. This includes not wearing revealing clothing, not being loud in public, and not taking pictures of people without their permission.

10. Not following safety guidelines.

When you’re traveling, it’s important to follow safety guidelines. This includes not walking alone at night, not leaving your drink unattended, and not accepting rides from strangers.

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if you've clicked on this video and

you're wondering what can they teach me

about traveling well you have reached

the right place because we are experts

in travel mistakes we have made every

one of them we have we are full-time

travel bloggers traveling the world but

today we're going to talk about 10

common mistakes that can ruin your trip

so if you're watching this video you're

probably in the process of planning your

own trip abroad and looking for more

information so that you can plan a

better trip so if that's the case stay


John and Beth and we are the retirement


let's Jump Right In number one is don't

over pack yes by far the number one

mistake that we've seen and we've made

is over packing now when we started off

our trip we had two 50 pound roller

suitcases and it did not take long

especially over the cobbled streets of

Guatemala to realize we were making a

huge mistake now we've transitioned we

carry two backpacks now and we can carry

on only it's so much lighter it's so

much more efficient and it forces us to

not overpass that's right we're carrying

that's right if if you only carry what's

in your backpack it's you're not going

to over pack and so we highly recommend

it you know I can't tell you how many

people uh in Europe last year where we

actually had to help them carry their

suitcase up a stairway into a train or a

bus or in the overhead storage bins

because they just couldn't physically

handle these giant suitcases so you know

we one of our packing principles is only

carry enough for one week number two

mistake is worrying about what to wear

just so you'll fit in

we don't care about fitting in but more

so than that you know the mindset that

you have to pack certain things to be

able to not look like a tourist is crazy

crazy we cringe when we see these videos

What Not to Wear in Europe we watch the

videos just for comedy relief like oh

you need these certain style of boots

and you have to wear long pants and you

can't wear baseball caps and yet we've

heard it all we've heard it all and this

is this was kind of true 20 years ago in

Europe you could go to Europe and you

could really spot the American they had

a baseball cap on they had a t-shirt

they had shorts and oftentimes running

shoes and these days you go to Europe

and guess what you see ninety percent of

the people unless they're in business

attire going to work you see a baseball

cap a t-shirt shorts and running shoes

you cannot spot the Americans the key

thing here is to wear what makes you

comfortable now there are occasions when

you need to be cautious about not the

cultural norms going into a church or a

temple anywhere you travel you should be

you know mindful of their of their

conservative culture and and bring

something with you bring something to

cover your shoulders if you're a woman

or a skirt I carry one pair of long

pants and I take my ball cap off when I

go into church those sorts of things but

but you can manage yes and in Central

America we heard this a lot oh you've

got to wear pants John can't wear shorts

he's got to wear pants

I wear shorts number three is stop

eating just familiar Foods yeah

sometimes when you go to a exotic

foreign place you'll see McDonald's KFC

Subway and the Temptation is oh we'll

just go there and grab something to eat

but don't do it there are so many other

options uh to eat traditional or Local


um and experience the the local culture

it's it's definitely the way to go from

an eating standpoint yes and another

part of this is don't eat it just

tourist hot spots yeah we were just in

Prague and five blocks away from the

main strip where all the tourists are we

walked up at the street and we can't

came to a cafeteria style restaurant

where it was packed with with locals we

went in they piled the food on I mean it


so good and it was about a third the

price of what we would have paid five

blocks away yeah we really are big

Believers in in eating local food where

the locals eat and we typically will say

just make us the most traditional dish

or the most popular dish or you know

something that's of local Cuisine it's

it always uh we can't always read the

language but if we tell them that and

they understand it we always get

something good number four is don't just

go to the tourist hot spots this is a

very common thing if you're an American

to go to Rome London Venice Santorini

there's several places that Americans

just can't get out of their head that

there might be a better place to go than

the tourists thing

yes and they're usually very crowded

they're more expensive

um you know we've seen it with if

there's a cruise stop there and try to

avoid it when you see a big boat there

because everything is going to be more

crowded yeah it is it's really not even

enjoyable to go to a place like that now

there are some certainly there are some

great things to see in these cities and

it's an experience that you know

everyone should have seeing the Roman

Coliseum and all of those places but if

you just go to the next town over you're

going to get a wonderful experience yes

we we had some amazing experiences

across Europe where there wasn't many

tourists the prices were much cheaper

and it was just it felt like an

authentic experience where you could

meet local people you'd see kids playing

in the street

um that's yeah that's kind of a key

that's kind of a key if you don't see

kids playing in the street it's probably

just a big tourist area so it's it's fun

to get to see how locals live in in each

of the different cultures so get off the

beaten path and here's an example of

what we're talking about Santorini is

beautiful and there's beautiful white

buildings it is something to see but the

next Island over 45 minutes on a ferry

is filet gondros filet gondros was not

crowded when we were there it was so

beautiful it had white houses it was

almost uninhabited there was very few

people there it was just so lovely we

just had the very best experiences and

that was repeated all across the Balkans

and where there weren't a lot of

tourists and we had just as much fun in

the Balkans as we did in Italy and

Greece definitely get off the beaten

path and don't just go to tourist places

number five is stop being reliant on

cars for transportation yes what we mean

by that is you know there's so many

options for transportation there is

Metro systems there's trains there's

buses uh there's ferries you can walk I

mean I think it stems back to the fact

in the U.S we're pretty much a car

Centric uh culture we don't do a lot of

trains and buses and we get reliant on

cars and when you travel abroad you

don't need that I mean we have not had a

car for two years and we've done fine we

have and and one of the things that we

love is using our Apple Maps Google Maps

they all give us the option of getting

directions using the Local

transportation it tells you on your

Apple map or your Google Map what

platform to go to what the train number

is what direction it's going how many

stops it's going to make and that's the

case for buses it's the case for for

metros you know we walk a lot of miles

everybody that travels with us comes

back and says I think I lost five pounds

because I walked everywhere that's right

and you know the other thing is you will

save money you know if you can walk

rather than a taxi or recently in

Auckland it was about a fifty dollar

taxi ride to get to our hotel we took a

bus and train for about six dollars so

you can save a lot of money and a lot of

times you can use your phone to get

through the Metro System in Sydney you

didn't even need to buy an opal card you

just walked up with your iPhone and

clicked your Apple pay and you were

through that was the case on the buses

it was the case on the Metro this is a

really big topic for us because we see

how invaluable it is you know when we

started traveling through the Balkans

Last Summer the it really hit us because

you couldn't rent a car and go to carry

it from one country to another and cross

all of these borders and you certainly

couldn't leave it in another country so

that created a problem where we needed

to cross the borders because the trains

don't connect and we ended up hiring

some private drivers and towards Midway

through our trip we were like you know

let's just take the bus and we took a

local bus and the buses were awesome we

were fine we didn't mind it at all I

mean we never take the Greyhound at home

but we remember that we remember the bus

between Kosovo and Albania and you

wouldn't think that that was going to be

like the the best bus in the world it

was perfect there was only like eight

people on the bus and we had Wi-Fi the

whole way so you know don't rely on cars

only there's lots of options out there

for you number six is stop going only on

planned tours oh

this is a biggie because we like a good

tour and we have a lot of friends who

are older who take tours

um you know whether it's a Viking river

cruise or it's some sort of learn and

tour group we love that idea and we'll

probably join some of those but we also

see the value in planning our own trips

and that's something that John and I

really hope that we can instill in you

if we can do it so can you that's right

there's there's so much more flexibility

well there's also the the satisfaction

of planning your own trip you can go to

exactly you know what you want to see

for as long as you want you know when we

were in Belgrade this summer uh every

single day there was a Viking Cruise uh

group came back or more than one and we

just saw these rows of people marching

through towns with their headsets and I

tell you what we I'm sure that they

learn some things uh from that we didn't

that we didn't learn but we loved having

the flexibility ability of just going

wherever we wanted when we wanted and

not have to you know rely on a tour

group or have to get back on a ship at

night so uh Our advice is don't just

rely I mean go on some tours but also

plan some trips on your own and and get

that satisfaction and one of the things

we're trying to do as travel bloggers is

to give you valuable information so that

you can plan your own trip if you are

going to let's say Valencia Spain this

summer you can pull up our blog from

there and you can see all the things

that we did and our advice for your

great adventure there that's right we

are trying to help you plan your own

trip number seven is stop being

comfortable yes you know what during my

working years I used to have a saying

try to get comfortable being

uncomfortable because there's you're

always going to be in these situations

where you're not comfortable and that's

life I mean you've gotta you can't avoid

uh traveling to certain places or doing

certain experiences just because it

makes you a little uncomfortable yeah

it's it's one of the biggest things we

have to overcome and sometimes we we

arrive in the city and we're

uncomfortable we arrived in Marrakech

this summer and we had heard all these

things about how people came right and

yeah and so it made us think oh you know

we better be really careful and John

booked us a hotel that we knew our Taxi

Driver could drop us off at we didn't

have to wander down some dark alley to

find our hotel so we kind of mitigated

that uncomfortableness of us but now

that we've been there we know we'll go

back next time and we'll book it

wherever that's right we're much more

comfortable you know our confidence

level has grown and you know recently in

New Zealand I tell you I went bungee

jumping and I was very uncomfortable

when I was standing up on that ledge but

afterwards it just it was it was so

amazing and now heck yes I would do it

again and you know things that made us

come uncomfortable you know a month ago

or a year ago no longer make us

uncomfortable I'm still not comfortable

with that you're still not doing it but

definitely I can watch you but me myself

definitely get out of your comfort zone

and don't do just the things that that

make you comfortable number eight is

stop trying to do everything

Yep this is a biggie we learned very

quickly we were traveling through so

many cities and at a fairly quick pace

so we learned very quickly this is our

lifestyle we are out on the road but we

can't go into every city and do

everything on the list there's a lot of

big churches there's a lot of big

museums you just cannot do them all we

just try to pick the things that really

interest us that week and go do those

things and give ourselves a break that

we're not going to do everything I mean

if you're coming to a great City like

Paris there's a thousands of things to

do pick the things that you really want

don't kill yourself trying to do them

all just figure I'm going to come back

and yeah and then do it again try to

give yourself some variety too I mean

pick your favorite Cathedral go pick

something historical maybe do something

active go take a cooking class try to do

a variety of things but just don't over

stuff it so much that you don't enjoy it

number nine is stop

says about particular place I know I

mean if we listen to everything that we

read on the Internet or what people told

us there's a number of countries we

would have never visited an example is

Guatemala we had an incredible time in

Guatemala we would go back in a


yeah I mean it was it was amazing and

people said Oh no you're going to get

robbed don't go there don't do this you

know what there are places just like

there are in the United States or Mexico

or anywhere else you don't want to go

and you need to do your research but

that does not mean avoid visiting a

country and last but not least number 10

is don't forget to do your research and

be sure to check out our website for

lots of great travel information we are

working so hard to provide information

on the places that we go and we hope

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trying to bring you some information

that can help you be a better traveler

and have a great time yeah we try to

share our experiences and give you a

feel for what a place looks like and

some of the highlights of things that we

did in our in our blogs of the city so

be sure to check out the website and we

hope that you have fabulous travels of

your own and and we'd love to hear about

them be sure to hit subscribe and follow

along on our retirement Journey around

the world


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